Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...

 
Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...
Analysis of Pre-Designation
Activities in New York City during
the Bloomberg Administration

June 16, 2014
GDPC # 12-15-02

Gregory G. Dietrich
Principal Investigator
Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...
Table of Contents

1.0    Executive Summary .......................................................................................................................... 1

2.0    Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 2
       2.1    Purpose of Study..................................................................................................................... 2
       2.2    Background.............................................................................................................................. 2
       2.3    Basis for Study......................................................................................................................... 3
       2.4    Focus of Study ........................................................................................................................ 4
       2.5    Dates the Study Was Conducted .......................................................................................... 4
       2.6    Acknowledgments and Citation .......................................................................................... 4
       2.7    Location of Report Copies ................................................................................................... 5

3.0    Scope and Methodology .................................................................................................................. 6
       3.1   Scope ........................................................................................................................................ 6
       3.2   Methodology ........................................................................................................................... 6

4.0    Pre-Designation Activities .............................................................................................................. 7
       4.1   Before Property Owner Notification................................................................................... 8
       4.2   Between Property Owner Notification and Calendaring................................................ 10
       4.3   Between Calendaring and Designation .............................................................................. 13

5.0    Analysis............................................................................................................................................... 27

6.0    Conclusions and Recommendations ......................................................................................... 28

7.0    Bibliography...................................................................................................................................... 31

List of Tables

Table 1.     NYC-LPC Designation Process By Practice and By Law ....................................................... 3
Table 2.     Individual Building Pre-Designation Activities Before Property Owner Notification ....... 8
Table 3.     District Pre-Designation Activities Before Property Owner Notification............................ 9
Table 4.     Individual Building Pre-Designation Activities Between Property Owner
             Notification and Calendaring..................................................................................................... 10
Table 5.     District Pre-Designation Activities Between Property Owner Notification
             and Calendaring ........................................................................................................................... 12
Table 6.     Individual Building Pre-Designation Activities Between Calendaring
             and Designation ........................................................................................................................... 13
Table 7.     District Pre-Designation Activities Between Calendaring and Designation ....................... 13

List of Photographs

Photo 1.     City and Suburban Homes Company: First Avenue Estates.
Photo 2.     P.S. 64.
Photo 3.     7 Ninth Avenue.

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Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...
Photo 4.    29 Ninth Avenue.
Photo 5.    44-54 Ninth Avenue.
Photo 6.    205 Water Street.
Photo 7.    45 Bond Street.
Photo 8.    233-237 Bleecker Street.
Photo 9.    12 Leroy Street.
Photo 10.   7 Cornelia Street.
Photo 11.   23 Cornelia Street.
Photo 12.   861-863 Lexington Avenue.
Photo 13.   331 E. 6th Street.
Photo 14.   9 Minetta Street.
Photo 15.   36 E. 14th Street.
Photo 16.   342 Amsterdam Avenue.
Photo 17.   430 Park Avenue.
Photo 18.   50 Madison Avenue.
Photo 19.   20 Jay Street.
Photo 20.   30 Great Jones Street.
Photo 21.   41-43 Bond Street.
Photo 22.   51-55 E. 2nd Street.
Photo 23.   16 Minetta Lane.
Photo 24.   94, 94½ and 96 Greenwich Street.
Photo 25.   315 E. 10th Street.
Photo 26.   80 E. 2nd Street.
Photo 27.   82 Second Avenue.
Photo 28.   38-60 Douglaston Parkway.
Photo 29.   39-12 Douglaston Parkway.

Appendix: Investigator Qualifications

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Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...
1.0      Executive Summary

The purpose of this study is to analyze the pre-designation activities that have occurred during the
Bloomberg Administration (2002-2013) as a means of identifying the "windows" of redevelopment
opportunities that accompany designation and the ensuing destruction these timeframes have had on
the city's historic resources. This study identified 7 individual properties proposed for landmark or
interior landmark designation that have been subject to pre-designation activities that have either
resulted in their defacement or demolition. This study also found that in 8 of the 43 districts that
were designated between 2002 and 2013, there were examples of 19 buildings that were subject to
pre-designation activities that either resulted in their demolition or substantial alteration—with 2
additional buildings in the process of being altered, while another 2 are in the process of being
substantially altered following a hearing in which they were heard but not designated even as they
continue to remain calendared. The majority of these buildings are located in both established
neighborhoods (e.g., Manhattan's Greenwich Village, Madison Square, Upper East Side, Union
Square, Upper West Side, Midtown East) and in neighborhoods that have experienced a marked
increase in development activities (e.g., Brooklyn's DUMBO, Manhattan's Gansevoort Market (aka
Meatpacking), NoHo, East Village, Lower East Side, Lower Manhattan, South Village).

It bears noting that the scope of this study was limited to the extent of pre-designation activities that
could be identified during the Bloomberg Administration, which may in fact represent only a
fraction of overall pre-designation activities occurring during this period. It also bears noting that
this study does not encompass pre-designation activities that have occurred during prior mayoral
administrations. Thus, it is not definitive, though it is meant to offer insight as to the unintended
consequences of the designation process during these three distinct timeframes when a lack of
regulatory authority can result in the demolition or defacement of a building.

The timeframes in which these pre-designation activities have occurred fall into three categories:

     Before New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission property owner notification
     Between New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission property owner notification and
      calendaring
     Between New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission calendaring and designation

Of these three timeframes, buildings subject to pre-designation activities occurring before property
owner notification were the most vulnerable, with activities occurring between notification and
calendaring as the second most vulnerable, and activities occurring between calendaring and
designation outside of the 40-day calendaring period as the least vulnerable.

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Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...
2.0       Introduction

2.1       Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the pre-designation activities that have impacted New York
City's proposed and/or designated individual landmarks, landmark interiors, and buildings within
historic districts during the Bloomberg Administration. In particular, it seeks to identify when, how,
and why buildings which are under consideration for designation may be altered, demolished, or
otherwise compromised prior to being designated. Because some of the timeframes and owner
notifications informing designation are required by law, whereas some are solely discretionary on the
part of the of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (NYC-LPC), this study
seeks to distinguish the period of pre-designation when either designated buildings (or buildings
intended for designation) were compromised due to the requirements of the law and when they were
compromised do to the actions—or inactions—of the NYC-LPC.

2.2       Background

Section 25-313 of the New York City Landmarks Law mandates that the NYC-LPC notify property
owners of its intent to calendar (or consider) their property for potential designation 10 days in
advance of holding a vote to calendar the property. Once the agency has calendared the property,
the New York City Department of Buildings (NYC-DOB) may not issue an alteration or demolition
permit for 40 days unless approved by the NYC-LPC.1 Further, once their property is calendared,
the Landmarks Law also mandates that the NYC-LPC give property owners 10 days' notice prior to
the scheduling of a designation hearing, at which time the owner, its representatives, and/or
members of the public may submit documentation to the Commission to inform their evaluation of
the proposed designation. By law, the Commissioners are empowered to vote on the designation of
a property at their first public hearing, which has been beneficial in instances where a historic
resource has been threatened.

However, more recently the Commission has supplemented the legal notification process by not
only notifying property owners of its intent to calendar a property before the actual calendaring
notification, but also schedule a meeting with the property owner(s) in advance of the calendaring
hearing (Table 1). The unintended consequence of this multiple notification period has resulted in a
significant lead time for property owners to secure alteration, construction, and/or demolition
permits prior to the agency taking any calendaring action.

Beyond the issues posed by the pre-calendaring notification period, the NYC-LPC does not always
schedule a designation hearing after the Commissioners have voted to move forward with
designation, thereby affording property owners multiple opportunities to secure alteration,
construction, and/or demolition permits once the 40-day calendar timeframe with the NYC-DOB
has expired.

1     The 40-day period to designate calendared buildings was initiated via a memo by the Assistant Commissioner of the
      New York City Department of Buildings on April 26, 1988. Fredric J. Pocci, "Landmark District Notification
      Procedures" Memorandum dated April 26, 1988, Operations and Policy Procedure Notice #12/88, (New York:
      NYC-DOB, 1988).

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Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...
Table 1. NYC-LPC Designation Process By Practice and By Law

          NYC-LPC DESIGNATION PROCESS                               NYC-LPC DESIGNATION PROCESS
                  BY PRACTICE                                                  BY LAW

    Property owner notification and/or meeting to consider
    calendaring a property
    Property owner notification to calendar a property       Property owner notification to calendar a property
    Calendaring hearing                                      Calendaring hearing
    Property owner notification to designate a property      Property owner notification to designate a property
    Designation hearing in which:
                                                             Designation hearing in which:
    Property is designated; or
                                                             Property is designated
    Property is heard but not designated

2.3        Basis for Study

This study was commissioned by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP),
which has been monitoring both pre- and post-designation activities in Lower Manhattan since its
founding in 1980. As unprecedented demand for real estate in desirable locations of the city such as
Greenwich Village has led to an intense interest by property owners and real estate developers to
capitalize on highest-and-best-use redevelopment scenarios, it has also led to a pattern of destruction
that belies the purpose of the city's landmarks law. Consequently, GVSHP and other civic
organizations working throughout the city have had to become more vigilant than ever in
monitoring redevelopment activities in their neighborhoods in order to ensure that these areas retain
their distinct sense of place in the face of ongoing threats to their character.

Although the focus of this analysis is on pre-designation activities affecting buildings that have
occurred during the Bloomberg Administration, the willful destruction of historic properties by their
owners is not a new phenomenon. An article in The New York Times noted that over thirty years ago
the owner of a 1931 Bauhaus-inspired loft building with terra cotta cladding on Lexington Avenue
and East 57th Street had advised the landowner that "'steps must immediately be taken to prevent'
landmarks designation," before obtaining a permit to remove the building's terra cotta.2 Thus, by the
time the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (NYC-LPC) had held its hearing to
designate the building as an individual landmark, it had been so thoroughly defaced that it was
rejected by the Commissioners. More recently, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hoffman Auto
Showroom at 430 Park Avenue, whose owners had been notified by the NYC-LPC that the
showroom's interior was being considered for designation, responded in kind by gutting it in order
to prevent designation and any potential restrictions on the space that would follow.3 The loss of
this interior—only one of three projects completed by the pre-eminent modernist in New York
City—suggests that even internationally significant resources are not immune to destruction when
confronted with local landmark designation.

The demolition of the former Hoffman showroom not only brought international attention to the
2      Christopher Gray, "A Ghost With an Impressive Past," The New York Times, June 6, 2013.
3      Marc Chaban, "Frank Lloyd Wright park Avenue site wronged," Crains New York, April 12, 2013.

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Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...
loss of a Wright-designed interior, but also local awareness to the larger issue of pre-designation
activities that have undermined historic properties. For example, a recent article in New York
magazine entitled "One Step Behind the Bulldozers" chronicled a host of properties that have been
lost through such activities, including the Hoffman interior (430 Park Avenue), Screw Factory (30
Great Jones Street), The Dakota Stables (342 Amsterdam Avenue), Odd Job Building (aka Paterson
Silks Building, 36 East 14th Street), ASPCA Headquarters (50 Madison Avenue), and Steeplechase
Park (Coney Island).4 By contrast, a subsequent article by New York Times architectural historian,
Christopher Gray, entitled "Architecture: Pre-emptive Moves, Predemolition" recounted examples
in which the very prospect of local landmark designation had resulted in owners defacing their
buildings, irrespective of the NYC-LPC's initiatives to actually designate them.5

2.4       Focus of Study

This study focuses on properties that were proposed, calendared, and/or designated by the New
York City Landmarks Preservation Commission during the Bloomberg Administration (2002-2013)
and were subject to defacement or demolition during that process.

2.5       Dates the Study Was Conducted

Research, analysis, and writing for this study were conducted between January 2013 and June 2014.

2.6       Acknowledgments and Citation

Gregory Dietrich Preservation Consulting (GDPC) would like to especially thank the following
individuals for their assistance:

Simeon Bankoff, Historic Districts Council
Andrew Berman, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Nadezhda Williams, Historic Districts Council

In addition, GDPC would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their assistance with this
study:

Adrienne Asencio, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
Michael Owen, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
Miriam Berman
Doreen Gallo, DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
Tara Kelly, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts
Christopher LaBarge, Office of Councilwoman Rosie Mendez
Fern Luskin, Friends of Gibbons Underground Railroad Site and Lamartine Place Historic District

4     Andre Tartar, "One Step Behind the Bulldozers," New York, May 26, 2013.
5     Gray's assessment focused on Manhattan buildings that were defaced and/or subsequently demolished during the
      1970s and 1980s that included: the Cherokee Club (334 East 79th Street), Rivoli Theatre (1620 Broadway), and the
      Studebaker Building (1600 Broadway), while bemoaning the forthcoming loss of a 1956 townhouse at 60 East 86th
      Street. Christopher Gray, "Architecture: Pre-emptive Moves, Predemolition," The New York Times, July 18, 2013.

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Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...
David Mulkins, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors
Virginia Parkhouse
Julia Schoeck, The Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society
Kevin Wolfe, The Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society

This report was written by Gregory G. Dietrich and can be cited as:

Dietrich, Gregory G. "Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the
   Bloomberg Administration." New York: Gregory Dietrich Preservation Consulting, 2014.
   Prepared by Gregory Dietrich Preservation Consulting, New York, NY, for the Greenwich
   Village Society for Historic Preservation, New York, NY.

2.7    Location of Report Copies

Copies of the report are on file at the office of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic
Preservation, Neighborhood Preservation Center, New York, NY.

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Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...
3.0       Scope and Methodology

3.1       Scope

The scope of this study was determined through discussions with the Greenwich Village Society for
Historic Preservation (GVSHP), Historic Districts Council (HDC), and Gregory Dietrich
Preservation Consulting (GDPC). It focuses on historic buildings proposed for designation and/or
designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (NYC-LPC) during the
Bloomberg Administration (2002-2013), and specifically on the pre-designation activities that have
occurred between initial property owner notification and designation. Under the Bloomberg
Administration the NYC-LPC has consistently engaged property owners either directly or through
community meetings. Although not legally mandated, the agency's initial outreach to property
owners has begun with property owner notification about its interest in designating an individual
landmark or a landmark interior, or to publicize a community meeting about its interest in
designating a district before the property is calendared for designation.6

3.2       Methodology

Research of pre-designation activities occurring during the Bloomberg Administration entailed
interviews with HDC Executive Director Simeon Bankoff and GVSHP Executive Director Andrew
Berman, along with outreach to HDC's neighborhood partners via telephone and email. In addition,
archival and online research was also conducted to obtain information about pre-designation
activities affecting historic buildings during this period. Archival research consisted of a review of
HDC's files for general designation information and pre-designation activities, and communications
with the NYC-LPC to obtain specific dates related to individual property owner outreach and
community meeting notification.7 Online research consisted of a review of the NYC-LPC historic
district maps to obtain district calendaring and designation dates, New York City Department of
Buildings' (NYC-DOB) database (aka Building Information Search or BIS) to review pre-
designation activities and their NYC-DOB permit application/approval dates, and multiple searches
for articles documenting pre-designation activities occurring between 2002 and 2013.

6     Every New York City designation is preceded by a calendaring hearing in which staff from the NYC-LPC's
      Research Department presents the proposed designation to the Commissioners for consideration, and the
      Commissioners are given an opportunity to vote for or against the proposal.
7     Since community meeting notification letters are sent via regular U.S. mail, the NYC-LPC's files only reference the
      dates that letters are sent out to property owners and not the dates in which they are received.

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Analysis of Pre-Designation Activities in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration - June 16, 2014 GDPC # Gregory G. Dietrich ...
4.0      Pre-Designation Activities

This report identified 2 individual landmarks whose owners secured NYC-DOB permits to deface
their buildings during the pre-designation period within the term of the Bloomberg Administration
between 2002 and 2013, thus compromising their ability to convey their architectural and/or
historical significance. This report also identified 4 proposed individual landmarks and 1 proposed
interior landmark that were either substantially altered and/or demolished during this pre-
designation time period which ultimately prevented their designation. In addition, the report
identified cases in 8 of 43 historic districts which contain buildings that have undergone substantial
pre-designation activities that have either adversely affected their ability to contribute to their
district's distinct sense of place or created a streetscape void via a vacant lot or unsympathetic new
construction. Of these 43 districts, this report identified 19 buildings within those 8 districts that
have been affected by pre-designation activities. In addition, 2 additional buildings already received
approvals for alterations prior to their recent district designation, while another 2 are in the process
of being substantially altered following a hearing in which they were heard but not designated even
as they continue to remain calendared.

The 30 buildings identified in this study that have been subject to pre-designation activities have
been divided into three categories according to the following timeframes:

     Before property owner notification (14 buildings)
     Between property owner notification and calendaring (9 buildings)
     Between calendaring and designation (7 buildings)

Sections 4.1 - 4.3 below detail the pre-designation activities that have impacted these buildings
through alterations and/or demolitions.

                                                   7
4.1       Before Property Owner Notification

The following 2 buildings were subject to filings for pre-designation activities before the NYC-LPC
initially notified the property owners of its intent to designate them as individual landmarks.

Table 2. Individual Building Pre-Designation Activities Before Property Owner Notification

                                       PROPERTY
    PHOTO                                                  NYC-DOB
              BUILDING NAME &           OWNER                             PRE-DESIGNATION              NYC-DOB
     REF.                                                APPLICATION
              ADDRESS                  OUTREACH                           ACTIVITY                  PERMIT/REF. NO.
     NO.                                                 FILING DATE
                                         DATE

              City and Suburban
                                                                          Removal of
              Homes Company:
                                                                          architectural
              The First Avenue
                                                                          ornamentation and
      1             Estate              10/21/04            8/31/04                                 Alt-2 #103915667
                                                                          cornice, and
              429 E. 64th St. &
                                                                          introduction of pink
               430 E. 65th St.
                                                                          stucco parging
                  Manhattan
                    P.S. 64                                               Destruction of terra-
      2         605 E. 9th St.,         10/19/05            3/27/03       cotta ornament on E.      Alt-1 #103420870
                  Manhattan                                               9th Street Façade

Despite the early timing of these NYC-DOB filings, both of these properties involved willful
defacement by their owners: either as a counter-measure against, or in response to, designation. The
designation of the City and Suburban Homes Company: The First Avenue Estate originally dates to
1990, when the property was designated as part of a larger tenement complex and then de-
designated by the city's Board of Estimate in the same year. Two years later, the other buildings in
the complex were re-designated while the East 64th/65th Street buildings went unprotected. On
November 12, 2006, the New York Times reported that sidewalk sheds were being erected around the
East 64th/65th Street buildings for construction work, leading preservationists to worry "that such
work could diminish the buildings' architectural value."8 By the time the East 64th/65th Street
buildings had finally been designated on November 21st, both the architectural ornamentation and
cornice had been removed and the facades had been parged over with pink stucco. In addition, the
owner filed two lawsuits: first, challenging the validity of the designation, and more recently after
losing the first case, claiming economic hardship as a result of the designation. The latter is currently
being adjudicated.

Events surrounding P.S. 64 have become even more litigious than those surrounding the First
Avenue Estate buildings as P.S. 64's owner first threatened and then resorted to building defacement
after having his property designated and then filed three lawsuits against the city as a reaction to
regulatory controls pertaining to redevelopment, use, and occupancy.9 The New York State Court
subsequently upheld its designation, while ruling in the owner's favor on the issues of use and

8     Jake Mooney, "For a Landmark Un-landmarked, a Bid to Undo the Undoing," The New York Times, November 12,
      2006.
9     The owner had originally proposed a 19-story dormitory tower on the site which was rejected by the city. Sarah
      Ferguson,"Gregg Singer Chopping Landmarked P.S.64 Now!," The Village Voice Blogs, July 25, 2006; Charles V.
      Bagli, "In East Village, No End Is Seen in War Over a Building," The New York Times, January 2, 2007.

                                                          8
occupancy. Consequently, the owner must obtain approvals from the NYC-LPC in order to move
forward with his redevelopment. To date, the NYC-LPC Commissioners have endorsed the current
proposal with modifications, but have not issued a resolution approving the project, while the
community continues to protest the proposed use and occupancy.10

The following 11 properties were subject to pre-designation activities before the NYC-LPC initially
notified the property owners of its community meeting for the district's calendaring.

Table 3. District Pre-Designation Activities Before Property Owner Notification

                                HISTORIC DISTRICT:
     PHOTO                           NYC-LPC                NYC-DOB
                                                                            PRE-DESIGNATION              NYC-DOB
      REF.    ADDRESS              COMMUNITY              APPLICATION
                                                                            ACTIVITY                  PERMIT/REF. NO.
      NO.                           MEETING               FILING DATE
                                NOTIFICATION DATE
                                                                            Installation of
                                 Gansevoort Market:
       3      7 Ninth Ave.                                  11/19/02        illuminated flex-face      SG #103264888
                                    12/11/02 11
                                                                            sign on building
                                 Gansevoort Market:                         Introduction of
       4      29 Ninth Ave.                                  1/22/01                                  Alt-1 #102950718
                                     12/11/02                               storefront
              44-54 Ninth        Gansevoort Market:
       5                                                      1/4/02        Dormer additions          Alt-2 #103069929
              Ave.                   12/11/02
                                                                            Demolition of factory
       6      205 Water St.       DUMBO: 3/1/07             11/13/06                                   DM #302251319
                                                                            building
                                  NoHo Extension:                           2-story rooftop
       7      45 Bond St.                                    5/14/07                                  Alt-1 #104761624
                                      12/3/0712                             addition
              233-237             Greenwich Village                         Storefront
       8                                                     2/25/05                                  Alt-2 #104048488
              Bleecker St.       Extension 2: 4/16/09                       replacement
                                  Greenwich Village                         Façade alterations &
       9      12 Leroy St.                                    8/1/08                                  Alt-1 #110222624
                                 Extension 2: 4/16/09                       rooftop addition
                                                                            Ground-floor
                                  Greenwich Village                         alterations to convert
      10      7 Cornelia St.                                11/14/07                                  Alt-1 #110017320
                                 Extension 2: 4/16/09                       apartments into
                                                                            storefronts
                                  Greenwich Village                         Removal of horse              Complaint
      11      23 Cornelia St.                                2/20/09
                                 Extension 2: 4/16/09                       hoof ornamentation            #1249377
                                                                            Replacement of
              861-863              Upper East Side                          historic townhouse
      12                                                     6/25/08                                  NB #110214438 13
              Lexington Ave.      Extension: 5/15/09                        with new
                                                                            condominium
                                  East Village/Lower      11/22/10 (NB)     Replacement of             NB #120537990
      13      331 E. 6th St.
                                  East Side: 3/31/11      12/2/10 (DM)      historic townhouse         DM #120547131

10    Sarah Ferguson, "Landmarks likes 9th St. dorm; Protest march planned," East Villager and Lower East Side," May 10,
      2013.
11    NYC-LPC was unable to provide the community meeting notification letter date for the Gansevoort Market
      Historic District so this date reflects the date of the community meeting.
12    NYC-LPC was unable to provide the community meeting notification letter date for the NoHo Extension Historic
      District so this date reflects the date of the community meeting.
13    No permit was found for the demolition of the Kean House, which was replaced by a condominium known as The
      Touraine in 2008.

                                                            9
HISTORIC DISTRICT:
     PHOTO                           NYC-LPC               NYC-DOB
                                                                          PRE-DESIGNATION              NYC-DOB
      REF.    ADDRESS              COMMUNITY             APPLICATION
                                                                          ACTIVITY                  PERMIT/REF. NO.
      NO.                           MEETING              FILING DATE
                                NOTIFICATION DATE
                                                                          with new
                                                                          condominium
                                                                          Alteration of ground
                                                                          floor of building:
      14       9 Minetta St.    South Village: 4/5/13       2/13/13       replacement of front      Alt-1 #121521004
                                                                          entrance and windows
                                                                          with garage door

The timing of these pre-designation activities range in several weeks before the NYC-LPC
community meeting notification (e.g., 7 Ninth Ave.) to several years before the NYC-LPC
community meeting notification (e.g., 233-237 Bleecker St.). Thus, the impetus for the owners'
activities may be attributable to various motives, ranging from an interest in redeveloping their
properties exclusive of any known intent by the NYC-LPC to designate them to acting in response
to preliminary information about a proposal for a historic district.14

4.2        Between Property Owner Notification and Calendaring

The following 3 properties were subject to pre-designation activities between the time the NYC-
LPC initially notified the property owners of its intent to designate them as individual landmarks and
their hearings to be calendared.

Table 4. Individual Building Pre-Designation Activities Between Property Owner
         Notification and Calendaring

                                     PROPERTY
     PHOTO                                                               NYC-DOB        PRE-                 NYC-DOB
              BUILDING NAME &         OWNER         CALENDARING
      REF.                                                             APPLICATION      DESIGNATION        PERMIT/REF.
              ADDRESS                OUTREACH           DATE
      NO.                                                              FILING DATE      ACTIVITY               NO.
                                       DATE
                                                                                        Removal of
              Paterson Silks                                                            glass tower
              Building                                                                  (and                   Alt-1
      15                                2/7/05          3/8/05            3/1/05
              36 E. 14th St.                                                            subsequent          #104050198
              Manhattan                                                                 building
                                                                                        replacement)
                                                                                        Removal of
                                                                                        architectural
                                                                                        ornament,
              The Dakota Stables
                                                                                        cornice, and           Alt-2
      16      342 Amsterdam            7/28/06          9/19/06          8/21/06
                                                                                        parapet (and        #104050198
              Ave. Manhattan
                                                                                        subsequent
                                                                                        building
                                                                                        replacement)

14    Preliminary information about a district proposal may derive from NYC-LPC staff surveying the area,
      neighborhood groups seeking district protection, and/or preservation advocacy groups working to galvanize
      support for a district, among others.

                                                          10
PROPERTY
     PHOTO                                                               NYC-DOB        PRE-                 NYC-DOB
              BUILDING NAME &         OWNER         CALENDARING
      REF.                                                             APPLICATION      DESIGNATION        PERMIT/REF.
              ADDRESS                OUTREACH           DATE
      NO.                                                              FILING DATE      ACTIVITY               NO.
                                       DATE
              Hoffman Auto
              Showroom interior                                                                               Alt-2
      17                              3/25/13            N/A             3/28/13        Demolition
              430 Park Ave.                                                                                #121542535
              Manhattan

Intent on precluding any regulatory oversight from the NYC-LPC, all three of these pre-designation
activities were initiated by their owners as a counter-measure to individual landmark/interior
landmark designation and in doing so, succeeded in destroying these historic resources and
circumventing the designation process. Local preservation advocacy organizations and coalitions had
advocated for designation of the former Paterson Silks Building and The Dakota Stables in the years
prior to the NYC-LPC calendaring the buildings, while Frank Lloyd Wright advocates had only
learned of the proposal for the Hoffman Auto Showroom interior months before the fact.15
Commenting on the loss of the Paterson building, Modern Architecture Working Group co-founder
Michael Gotkin, stated, "Out of a list of 10 important modern buildings that was submitted to the
commission, with the backing of the entire preservation community, over half are now being either
altered or have been demolished…Those of us who toil in modern preservation truly believe that we
are in a crisis now."16 A representative from another preservation advocacy organization entitled
Friends of the Upper East Side noted, "The Landmarks Preservation Commission has designated
some important Modern buildings, but most remain at risk."17 In the case of the former Hoffman
Auto Showroom, the NYC-LPC's call and letter to the owner went unanswered, prompting a
reporter from Crain's New York Business to write, "Ironically, it was the Landmarks Commission's
good intentions, and a disconnect between it and the Department of Buildings, that doomed the
dealership."18 These events suggest that no amount of preservation advocacy can safeguard a
building if the NYC-LPC does not support its designation, and that the agency's "good intentions"
also have the capacity to undermine the objectives of Historic Preservation and the effectiveness of
the agency in carrying out its mission.

15    Landmark West! had been advocating for designation of the Dakota Stables for nearly twenty years, The Municipal
      Arts Society had been advocating for the Paterson building for nearly three years, and The Frank Lloyd Wright
      Building Conservancy submitted its Request for Evaluation eight months before the calendaring hearing.
      Christopher Faherty, "Bid To Landmark Dakota Stables Is Derailed," The Sun, November 15, 2006; Robin
      Pogrebin, "Wrecking Ball Dashes Hopes for a Lapidus Work," The New York Times, March 9, 2005; Phil Patton,
      "Wright's New York Showroom, Now Just a Memory," The New York Times, June 21, 2013.
16    Pogrebin, "Wrecking Ball Dashes Hopes for a Lapidus Work," The New York Times, March 9, 2005.
17    Robin Pogrebin, "In Preservation Wars, a Focus on Midcentury," The New York Times, March 24, 2005.
18    Chaban.

                                                           11
The following 6 properties were subject to pre-designation activities between the time the NYC-
LPC initially notified the property owners of its community meeting for the district and their
hearings to be calendared.

Table 5. District Pre-Designation Activities Between Property Owner Notification and
         Calendaring
                           HISTORIC
                           DISTRICT:
PHOTO                       NYC-LPC                              NYC-DOB                                NYC-DOB
                                            CALENDARING                        PRE-DESIGNATION
 REF.      ADDRESS        COMMUNITY                            APPLICATION                            PERMIT/REF.
                                                DATE                               ACTIVITY
 NO.                       MEETING                             FILING DATE                                NO.
                         NOTIFICATION
                             DATE
                                                                               Reconfiguration of
                                                                               a 5-story former
          50 Madison     Madison Square                                                                   Alt-1
     18                                         5/29/01          4/12/01       mansion to 3 stories
          Ave.           North: 1/5/01                                                                 #102527589
                                                                               with an 8-story
                                                                               rooftop addition
                                                                               Replacement of
                                                                               historic Belgian
                            DUMBO:                                             block sidewalk
     19   20 Jay St.                            7/24/07            N/A                                    N/A19
                             3/1/07                                            pavers surrounding
                                                                               the building with
                                                                               concrete
                                                                               Replacement of
          30 Great       NoHo Extension:                                       historic factory           DM
     20                                         1/15/08          12/18/07
          Jones St.         12/3/07                                            building with a         #104937437
                                                                               parking lot
                                                                               Demolition of two
          41-43 Bond     NoHo Extension:                                       buildings and              DM
     21                                         1/15/08          12/21/07
          St.               12/3/07                                            construction of new     #104935545
                                                                               condominium
                               East
          51-55 E. 2nd    Village/Lower                                                                   Alt-2
     22                                         6/28/11           6/3/11       Removal of cornice
          St.               East Side:                                                                 #120723100
                             3/31/11
                                                                               2½-story rooftop
          16 Minetta      South Village:                                       addition atop an           Alt-1
     23                                         5/21/13          5/11/13
          Lane               4/5/13                                            early-19th-century,     #121328768
                                                                               2½-story dwelling

These pre-designation activities were most likely implemented as a counter-measure to district
designation since the majority of these activities would most likely not have been approved by the
NYC-LPC due to their adverse effects on the historic resource and/or the introduction of
inappropriate replacement design and materials.20

19    Per Doreen Gallo, DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance, complaints re: pavers replacement & other non-permitted
      work during the Summer of 2007 resulted in multiple Stop Work Orders on the property, though the pavers
      replacement did not require NYC-DOB approval since it preceded district designation. Email communication from
      Doreen Gallo to Gregory Dietrich, March 20, 2013.
20    The one anomaly out of the list is 41-43 Bond Street, which according to the NoHo Neighborhood Association
      (NNA), the owner/developer/architect of the new condominium solicited design guidance from the NYC-LPC in

                                                          12
4.3        Between Calendaring and Designation

The following 2 properties were subject to pre-designation activities between the time the NYC-
LPC held a hearing to calendar them and held a hearing to designate them.

Table 6. Individual Building Pre-Designation Activities Between Calendaring and
         Designation

     PHOTO                                                                 NYC-DOB         PRE-                  NYC-DOB
              BUILDING NAME        CALENDARING        DESIGNATION
      REF.                                                               APPLICATION       DESIGNATION         PERMIT/REF.
              & ADDRESS                DATE             HEARING
      NO.                                                                FILING DATE       ACTIVITY                NO.

                                                                                           Multiple
              94½ Greenwich
                                      10/19/65 &                                           storefront
      24      St.                                        1/30/07            Multiple                              Multiple
                                        6/23/70                                            alterations and
              Manhattan
                                                                                           stucco parging
                                                                                           Multiple
              96 Greenwich St.        10/19/65 &
      24                                                 1/30/07            Multiple       storefront             Multiple
              Manhattan                 6/23/70
                                                                                           alterations21

The timing of these pre-designation activities fall outside the limit of 40 days after the date of filing a
NYC-DOB application for work on a calendared property. The calendaring of these two buildings,
along with 94 Greenwich Street, date back to 1965 and 1970, yet they continued to languish
unprotected until 2007, when only one of the three (no. 94 of nos. 94, 94½, and 96) was designated.
In its designation report for 94 Greenwich Street, no. 94½ was repeatedly described as "parged" and
no. 96 as "greatly altered," affirming the NYC-LPC's rejection of these two buildings due to
inappropriate alterations.22

The following 3 properties were subject to pre-designation activities between the time the NYC-
LPC calendared and designated the district.

Table 7. District Pre-Designation Activities Between Calendaring and Designation
                             HISTORIC
PHOTO                        DISTRICT:                               NYC-DOB                                   NYC-DOB
                                               DESIGNATION                          PRE-DESIGNATION
 REF.        ADDRESS         NYC-LPC                               APPLICATION                               PERMIT/REF.
                                                   DATE                                 ACTIVITY
 NO.                       CALENDARING                             FILING DATE                                   NO.
                               DATE
           315 E. 10th     East 10th Street:                                                                   Alt-1 #
     25                                            1/17/12          11/28/11        Rooftop addition
           St.                6/28/11                                                                         120909268
                                East
                           Village/Lower                                                                        Alt-1
     26    80 E. 2nd St.                           10/9/12          10/12/11        Rooftop addition
                             East Side:                                                                      #120853031
                              6/28/11
     27    82 Second            East               10/9/12           3/20/12        Cornice removal &            Alt-2

      anticipation of replacing the existing building with new construction. Friends of NoHo, "Pictorial Presentation of
      Excluded Lots in NoHo Landmark District Extension," (New York: Friends of NoHo, n.d.).
21    No information could be found in the NYC-DOB database regarding the 2½-story rooftop addition being
      constructed on this building.
22    Jay Shockley, 94 Greenwich Street House Designation Report, Designation List 414, LP-2218, June 23, 2009, 5.

                                                             13
HISTORIC
PHOTO                      DISTRICT:                                NYC-DOB                              NYC-DOB
                                              DESIGNATION                       PRE-DESIGNATION
 REF.     ADDRESS          NYC-LPC                                APPLICATION                          PERMIT/REF.
                                                  DATE                              ACTIVITY
 NO.                     CALENDARING                              FILING DATE                              NO.
                             DATE
         Ave.             Village/Lower                                         façade alterations     #121016051
                            East Side:
                             6/28/11
                                                                                Rooftop and side
         38-60             Douglaston
                                                                                additions to a            Alt-1
  28     Douglaston        Extension:             6/24/08*         11/14/12
                                                                                c.1864 single-family   #420786527
         Parkway            3/18/08
                                                                                dwelling
         39-12             Douglaston                                           Side addition to a
                                                                                                          Alt-1
  29     Douglaston        Extension:             6/24/08*         11/27/07     1910 single-family
                                                                                                       # 410034378
         Parkway            3/18/08                                             dwelling

*Heard but not designated and still calendared.

Similar to 94½ and 96 Greenwich Street, the timing of these pre-designation activities fall outside
the limit of 40 days after the date of filing of a NYC-DOB application. Pre-designation activities
undertaken during this time may be attributable to the NYC-LPC's delay in designating a district,
thereby inducing a property owner to capitalize on the agency's window of inaction through
inappropriate modifications.

                                                             14
Photo 1. City and Suburban Homes Company:
                                                  First Avenue Estates showing loss of
                                                  ornamentation and cornice, and the
                                                  introduction of pink stucco parging.
                                                  Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 9/21/2013

 Photo 2. P.S. 64 showing destruction of
    terra-cotta ornamentation on E. 10th
                            Street facade.
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 9/21/2013

                                             15
Photo 3. 7 Ninth Avenue showing flex-face sign.
                         Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

Photo 4. 29 Ninth Avenue with inset showing
       storefront replacement detail at right.
     Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

                              16
Photo 5. 44-54 Ninth Avenue showing dormers.
                                                          Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

     Photo 6. 205 Water Street showing
                     new condominium.
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

                                           Photo 7. 45 Bond Street showing 2-story rooftop addition.
                                           Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

                                               17
Photo 8. 233-237 Bleecker Street showing
                                                      storefront replacements.
                                                      Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

Photo 9. 12 Leroy Street showing rooftop addition.
           Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

                                                       Photo 10. 7 Cornelia Street with inset
                                                       showing storefront replacements.
                                                       Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

                                              18
Photo 11. 23 Cornelia Street showing carriage door entrance
surround missing horse-hoof details at their bases.
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

          Photo 12. 861-863 Lexington Avenue after the
          loss of the former Kean House.
          Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

Photo 13. 331 E. 6th Street after the loss of its historic
townhouse.
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

     19
Photo 14. 9 Minetta Street before alterations to
                                                replace its front entrance and windows with a
                                                garage door.
                                                Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 9/21/2013

Photo 15. 36 E. 14th Street after the loss of the former
                              Paterson Silks Building.
           Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 9/21/2013

                                                   20
Photo 16. 342 Amsterdam Avenue after the loss of the
                                               former Dakota Stables.
                                               Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 9/21/2013

      Photo 17. 430 Park Avenue showing
currently vacant retail space after the loss
 of the former Hoffman Auto Showroom.
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 9/21/2013

                                                  21
Photo 18. 50 Madison Avenue showing
                                     8-story rooftop addition.
                     Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

Photo 19. 20 Jay Street showing
concrete replacement sidewalks.
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

                                     Photo 20. 30 Great Jones Street after the loss of the former Screw Factory.
                                                                       Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

                                                        22
Photo 21. 41-43 Bond Street following its replacement.
     Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

                           Photo 22. 51-55 E. 2nd Street showing
                              parapet repair and loss of cornice.
                         Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

Photo 23. 16 Minetta Lane before the introduction of a 2½
story rooftop addition.
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 9/21/2013

         23
Photo 24. 94, 94½ and 96 Greenwich Street
                                           (left to right) showing multiple alterations,
                                           and rooftop addition to no. 96 under way.
                                           Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 9/21/2013

    Photo 25. 315 E. 10th Street showing
            inset with rooftop addition.
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

                                   24
Photo 26. 80 E. 2nd Street under construction.
                                  Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/14/2013

  Photo 27. 82 Second Avenue showing
 loss of cornice and façade alterations.
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 6/6/2013

                                    25
Photo 28. 38-60 Douglaston Parkway
                                                 under construction.
                                                 Kevin Wolfe, photographer, 3/7/2014

    Photo 29. 39-12 Douglaston Parkway
   showing side and rear addition under
                            construction.
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 4/26/2014

                                            26
5.0       Analysis

All of the locations of the pre-designation activities discussed in Section 4.0 indicate that buildings
located in both established and up-and-coming commercial and residential neighborhoods are the
most vulnerable to redevelopment. For example, Manhattan's Greenwich Village, Madison Square,
Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Union Square, and Midtown East all share a history of high
property values that pre-date the Bloomberg Administration, with the Upper East Side having a
long-standing presence that has been synonymous with luxury. By contrast, neighborhoods that
have experienced a marked increase in development activities such as Brooklyn's DUMBO and
Manhattan's Gansevoort Market (aka Meatpacking), NoHo, East Village, South Village, Lower East
Side, and Lower Manhattan present opportunities for greater economic return than their established
neighborhood counterparts due to historically lower property values compounded by unprecedented
demand. This unprecedented profit potential occurring over the past decade has undoubtedly
contributed to the frenzy of owner-developer interest and activity in these latter areas, resulting in a
resolve in some cases by these individuals, entities, and their representatives to circumvent any
regulatory authority potentially obstructing their objectives of economic gain and expediency.

An analysis of the various categories of pre-designation activities in Section 4.0 suggests that the
most vulnerable period for a building to be subject to a pre-designation activity is before the NYC-
LPC has begun the process of designating it. Although it is difficult to ascribe motives to a property
owner intent on redevelopment beyond basic economic gain, it is highly likely that the prospect of
designation can be an unintended incentive for demolition and/or inappropriate alterations to a
building as a means of avoiding any potential regulatory oversight.

The second most vulnerable period is between the time that the NYC-LPC has notified the property
owner about a designation proposal and the hearing to calendar it. As noted, initial property owner
outreach prior to calendaring is not legally mandated by the New York City Landmarks Law. Thus,
while transparency from the NYC-LPC is a shared objective for preservation advocates and
property owners alike, it should not subvert the process of designating properties for the public
good by creating loopholes that enable owners to demolish or disfigure their buildings as a counter-
measure against designation.

The third most vulnerable period is the period between the agency's hearing to calendar the property
and its designation. It bears noting that the last couple of administrations at the NYC-LPC have
been intent on revisiting calendared properties that were never designated as a means of responding
to both preservation advocates and property owners who seek resolution of an open-ended
designation process. Although the list of pre-designation activities occurring between calendaring
and designation contained in this study is short, it does not account for the multiple calendared
properties that pre-date the Bloomberg Administration which have been languishing for years and
remain vulnerable to inappropriate redevelopment. It does a disservice to both advocates and
owners alike for the NYC-LPC to have signified its interest and intent via calendaring, only to have
it repeatedly omitted for a designation hearing.23

23    One way that the NYC-LPC has dealt with property owners of eligible landmarks who adamantly oppose
      designation is to engage in a standstill agreement with the property owner, whereby the owner enters into a contract
      with the NYC-LPC to give the latter an informal review and comment of any proposals affecting the historic

                                                           27
6.0       Conclusions and Recommendations

The New York City Landmarks Law was established to offer regulatory oversight of locally
designated historic properties as a means of protecting the city's vast historical and architectural
legacy. In accordance with the law and its own administrative procedure to ensure transparency with
the public, the NYC-LPC's designation process entails property owner notification and outreach,
and hearings for calendaring and designation. When asked about the question of owner consent,
NYC-LPC Chair Robert Tierney replied, "Owner consent is not required, but I strongly try to
obtain it whenever possible. It helps the process going forward. It's not a continually contentious
relationship."24 However, as noted in this study, this transparency—devoid of a legal mandate—
comes with unintended consequences that have the capacity to subvert the very process the
landmarks law was established to effect: namely, the designation of historic properties for their
permanent protection.

As a robust real estate market in select areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn have created
unprecedented economic opportunities for real estate owners and developers, some owners have
sought ways to exploit timeframes within the process to either subvert the designation altogether or
avoid the regulatory oversight that accompanies it. As noted, these "windows" of redevelopment
opportunity may pre-date the NYC-LPC's initial notification to the property owner, occur between
the time of owner notification and a calendaring hearing, or fall within the often prolonged period
between calendaring and designation hearings—if in fact the property actually gets designated. At
their very worst, they have the capacity to result in permanent defacement or demolition of the
historic building and most notably are all currently permissible under the current system. Thus, each
timeframe of the designation process needs to be examined for any potential counter-measures that
can be implemented to ensure that any buildings that are being proposed for designation as an
individual landmark, landmark interior, or as part of a district are in the same condition upon
designation as they were when the NYC-LPC first notified the property owner of its interest and
intent to designate them.

Regarding pre-designation activities that pre-date the NYC-LPC's initial notification, it is difficult—
if not impossible—to prevent property owners from obtaining preliminary information about a
designation proposal emanating from NYC-LPC staff conducting research and surveys on a
particular building, neighborhood groups advocating for building or neighborhood protection,
and/or preservation advocacy groups intent on galvanizing community support for future
protections. It especially bears noting that these types of entities typically include public education
and awareness as part of their core mission so the prospect of not disclosing their objectives to
actively pursue preservation-related activities would belie their mandates. Thus, despite the potential
drawbacks of divulging preliminary information about a designation campaign via research and
survey and/or advocating for designation, these types of advocacy activities are still a necessary
means of promoting the designation process.

      building. Although such agreements have the capacity to serve both owner and agency interests, they also alienate
      stakeholders and the general public due to a lack of transparency and are therefore not a viable solution to
      addressing the issue of pre-designation activities.
24    Robin Pogrebin, "Preservationists See Bulldozers Charging Through a Loophole," The New York Times, November
      29, 2008.

                                                           28
As for the period between community notification and calendaring, the NYC-LPC does have
control over the date in which it notifies the property owner of its interest in designation since this is
a function of its internal administrative procedure and not of the New York City Landmarks Law.
As such, the agency should commit to an internal timeframe that places the calendaring of a
property in relatively close succession to property owner notification so that the process moves
forward without being undermined by unintended timeframes that enable inappropriate alterations
and demolitions.25

In contrast to the NYC-LPC's independent authority to decide when to notify a property owner
about its interest in calendaring a property for designation, it is bound as part of a citywide
administrative policy to a limited 40-day period to move forward with designation following the
submission of a NYC-DOB application for work on a calendared building. In an interview with The
New York Times, NYC-LPC Chair Tierney stated that "'it is difficult to put together a designation in
that time frame,'" adding that the prospect of designating a district "'is difficult if not impossible.'"26
Although extending the timeframe to designate properties that have been calendared would require
administrative approval from the New York City Department of Buildings (NYC-DOB), an
extension of this regulatory window could conceivably be highly effective in enabling the NYC-LPC
to ensure that its calendared properties are designated before they are unduly compromised by
inappropriate alterations or demolition. Conversely, the NYC-LPC could expedite its designation
process when properties calendared for individual or district designation are under threat of
defacement and/or demolition.27

For the time period of the Bloomberg Administration's tenure between 2002 and 2013, this report
identified 2 individual landmarks whose owners secured NYC-DOB permits to deface their
buildings during the pre-designation period, thus compromising their ability to convey their
architectural and/or historical significance. In addition, this report identified 4 proposed individual
landmarks and 1 proposed interior landmark that were either substantially altered and/or
demolished during the pre-designation period which ultimately prevented their designation.
Concurrently, this study identified 19 buildings within 8 districts that were designated during the
Bloomberg Administration that have undergone substantial pre-designation activities that have
either adversely affected their ability to contribute to their district's distinct sense of place or created
a streetscape void via a vacant lot or unsympathetic new construction. In addition, 2 additional

25   Past proposals put forth by Manhattan City Councilmember Rosie Mendez and Queens Councilmember Tony
     Avella would have the NYC-LPC and NYC-DOB take a more pro-active role in preventing authorization of
     building applications that would destroy or demolish potential landmarks. However, to date both of these proposals
     have not moved forward. Pogrebin, "Preservationists See Bulldozers Charging Through a Loophole."
26   Tierney also noted that the agency has been able to mobilize quickly in select situations, such as when it designated
     the George B. and Susan Elkins House as an individual landmark in advance of designating the Crown Heights
     North Historic District. Pogrebin, "Preservationists See Bulldozers Charging Through a Loophole."
27   Notwithstanding Chair Tierney's statement regarding the time constraints prohibiting the completion of a
     designation report, the NYC-LPC has taken a variety of approaches when it comes to expediting a landmark or
     district designation that include: designating an individual landmark within a calendared district (e.g., the previously
     noted George B. and Susan Elkins House, Crown Heights North Historic District; James W. and Lucy S. Elwell
     House, Prospect Lefferts Gardens Historic District); designating a district in phases/sections (e.g., Crown Heights
     North Historic Districts, Riverside-West End Historic District Extensions); or producing the requisite designation
     report at the calendaring hearing enabling its designation at that time (e.g., East 10th Street Historic District).

                                                            29
buildings already received approvals for alterations prior to their recent designation, while another 2
are in the process of being substantially altered following a hearing in which they were heard but not
designated even as they continue to remain calendared.

As noted, this survey is not exhaustive and does not account for the pre-designation activities that
were not uncovered during the course of this investigation. Nor does it account for all of the
documented and undocumented historic properties that pre-date the Bloomberg Administration that
were targeted for designation by the NYC-LPC and subject to pre-designation activities. Further, the
circumvention of regulatory oversight and designation is clearly not a new phenomenon and one
that not only affects buildings of local significance, but also buildings of international significance as
evinced by the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Hoffman Auto Showroom. Ultimately, this study
highlights a problem that is not only endemic to the designation process with its various "windows"
of redevelopment opportunities, but also one that will surely be exacerbated in the coming years as
demand and profit potential spur both established and untapped areas of the city to be targeted for
redevelopment.28 While the reforms recommended in this analysis will not eliminate all of the timing
loopholes, they do have the capacity to narrow the gaps that currently exist and in doing so, ensure
that the NYC-LPC's presumed objectives for transparency do not fully undermine its objectives to
safeguard the city's architectural heritage through a routine designation process.

28   It bears noting that the NYC Department of City Planning's recent proposal to re-zone Midtown East to create an
     even higher density redevelopment area than what currently exists motivated preservation advocates to rally for
     protections in the area, resulting in the NYC-LPC's counter-proposal to designate 8 individual landmarks. To date,
     the agency has notified the buildings' property owners of its intent to designate, and in doing so, once again initiated
     the "window" of redevelopment opportunity before they have been calendared.

                                                            30
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